Scottish independence: Cinema chains ‘ban’ ads

THE UK’s major cinema chains have revealed that they will axe all cinema adverts by both pro- and anti-independence groups following a wave of customer complaints.

Vue's cinema at Edinburgh's Ocean Terminal. The chain has decided to axe Scottish independence adverts. Picture: TSPL

Cinema-goers have complained about big screen ads from both Yes Scotland and Better Together, which are showing ahead of selected films at cinemas across Scotland.

The Guardian reports that the major chains - Odeon, Vue and Cineworld, which also owns The Cameo cinema in Edinburgh - have now made a collective decision to ban the adverts from Thursday 5 June.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The major cinema chains receive their adverts from Digital Cinema Media, a company jointly owned by Cineworld and Odeon which claims to sell over 80 per cent of the cinema adverts seen on UK screens.

‘Feedback duly noted’

A spokeswoman for the Vue chain, which operates cinemas in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Livingston, said: “Following feedback from our customers, which has been duly noted, we have taken the decision not to show any further campaign adverts.

“Along with the other leading cinema exhibitors, we will not be continuing with any additional campaigns beyond 5 June.”

An Odeon spokesperson said: “Alongside all major cinema chains in Scotland, Odeon is currently showing two adverts on the upcoming Scottish Independence referendum.

“Funded for and by the Scottish public, the yes and no adverts are screened ahead of a number of films although they may not necessarily appear back-to-back. Each campaign is given equal weighting to ensure there is no preference to either argument. The adverts will run until 5 June.”

A spokesperson for Yes Scotland said: “We understand there have been many complaints about the no campaign adverts. We are in touch with cinema chains about possible future screenings of yes ads, and will of course abide by their decision.”

Better Together claimed that their advert had been booed in some cinemas. A Better Together spokesman told The Guardian: “The fact that so many nationalists complained about our positive cinema advert shows that they will do anything to close down debate in Scotland.”